legal aid

Legal Aid for Family Mediation

Participants in mediation who are on benefits, a low income or have high outgoings may be eligible for legal aid to cover family mediation expenses.

What does Legal Aid cover?

  • If you qualify for legal aid, the Legal Aid Agency (LAA) will pay all of your mediation fees and for the cost of the mediator writing up any outcome documents.
  • If only one of you qualifies for legal aid and the other doesn’t, you will both still benefit because the LAA will pay for both of your initial assessment meetings and for the first joint meeting. This is as part of a Ministry of Justice scheme to give people an incentive to use alternative dispute resolution services, rather than going to court.
  • After mediation, the person or persons that are eligible for legal aid can also apply for legal help from a solicitor in order to get advice on their proposals and have them made legally binding.

Did you know?

You can do a preliminary check to see whether you are likely to be eligible for legal aid by using the online calculator at: >

Please be aware that a comprehensive eligibility check can only be carried out by a qualified Family Mediator, who has access to all of the required documents.


Able Mediation mediators are members of the professional membership organisations which make up the Family Mediation Council:

Please note:

If you are not eligible for legal aid, mediation is still usually cheaper and quicker than going to court. There are also many other benefits in terms of reducing the antagonism that divorce litigation or going to court may create, and starting to build a new relationship based on co-parenting and co-operation. For more about the benefits of mediation, please click here.